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Practice Your 'Power Pose'

posted Sep 14, 2016, 9:03 AM by Walk Strong Calgary
I've always felt that one of the best portrayals of a super hero was done by Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Lynda was green as an actress, which actually worked in her favor during Season 1 of the show when Diana Prince first came to America during WWII. As the character developed, one of the traits often used was her adoption of various 'power poses.' Whether written for the character or added by the actress herself, Lynda absolutely nailed it. She appeared poised, confident, and at times had a countenance that said "don't mess with me." Yet if she smiled in that same pose, you could feel genuine affection. She has one of the most beautiful smiles I think I've ever seen.... 

Psychologists have actually proven in studies that by adopting a 'power pose' for two minutes, you can change your mindset when feeling powerless, that you don't fit in, don't belong, are stressed or nervous about an upcoming situation (like a job interview), etc. It can change the levels of cortisol and testosterone in your body, helping you feel more confident, poised, and in control. We know the mind can effect the body... the body can also affect the mind. 

Practice Your Power Pose  
Practice your power pose every day - for just two minutes. There are several that will suffice - standing with your hands on your hips; arms over your head in a v-shape (like sprinters do when they cross the finish line in first place); sitting with your feet up, hands interlocked behind your head with elbows to the side; leaning forward with your hands on a table... a pose that makes you seem 'bigger.' It's a pose that takes up lots of space. Hold the pose for 2 full minutes. Do it wherever you're comfortable - in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, washroom cubicle... it doesn't matter. Try it in particular if you're unsure of yourself or nervous about going into a particular situation.  Test it out over a period of time ... and see if you notice anything change about how you perceive yourself... 

Want more info? Check out this TEDTalk with Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy:

Special thanks to Helen Vanderburg of Heavens Elevated Fitness, Calgary, Alberta for presenting the video at a recent staff event.